MUMS in Blackbird Leys should lose weight to set a good example to their children, according to one super-slimmer.
Louise Waters, 36, shed four stone in a year, dropping by almost four dress sizes in the process.
But for her, fashion was not the drive, but instead making sure her children get the message about healthy eating.
Mum to Harry, three, and two-year-old Jamie, Mrs Waters said: “As a mother your priority changes. When you’re looking at your own health, it maybe doesn’t matter if you’re obese. But your kids are never going to eat right if you don’t.
Louise before the weightloss
“It’s about being realistic about what you can achieve and not beating yourself up about things that you can’t change.”
She added: “You can’t change that you have to go to work. You can’t change that you can’t spend all day with your kids.
“But something that you definitely can have an effect on is your own health.
“It’s so important that children grow up in a healthy and active environment and they see that that is the norm.”
Mrs Waters, who lives in Chalgrove with her husband Paul, joined a Blackbird Leys weight loss club last year.
Her hard work paid off and she went from 16 stone 5lb to 11 stone 10lb.
She said: “I used to beat myself up about the fact that I was overweight and I was setting a terrible example to the kids.
“But once I started it was actually really easy. It’s not about limiting yourself, so long as you eat healthy foods. I’m still cooking the same lasagnes, curries and chillies, but just not adding any extra fats and looking at the sauces I’m using.
“It’s just about making small changes to what types of food you eat, and those changes being forever.”
Mrs Waters added that eating healthily does not have to be hugely expensive.
She said: “Sometimes tinned and frozen vegetables can be just as healthy as fresh. Lidl in Watlington Road has really good deals on fresh fruit and veg. It can be a little more difficult sometimes, but you just have to be a bit more aware. It definitely doesn’t have to be a huge cost.”
Her comments come after researchers from the American University of Washington DC found that nearly 30 per cent of UK women under the age of 20 are overweight, with one in 12 being clinically obese.
Mrs Waters will now use her success to inspire others as the new Slimming World consultant for Blackbird Leys, taking over from Gill Jackson at the end of June.
The club offers free membership to children aged between 11 and 15.
Mrs Waters said: “It’s not about following a diet. It’s all about educating them about eating healthily and tackling childhood obesity.”
The Slimming World group meets in the Jack Argent Room at Blackbird Leys Community Centre in Blackbird Leys Road on Thursdays at 5pm and 7pm.
- For more information, contact Mrs Waters on slimmingworldbbleys @gmail.com
- Weight: 16 stone 5 lb
- BMI: 35.6 (obese)
- Dress size: 20
- Weight: 11 stone 10lb
- BMI: 24.9 (healthy weight)
- Dress size: 12-14